Watson Guides Clemson Past North Carolina, 50-35

(Photo courtesy of Clemson Athletics)

CLEMSON, S.C. (ClemsonTigers.com) — In his first career start, quarterback Deshaun Watson continued where he left off from last week, going 27-of-36 for 435 yards and six touchdowns as the Tigers earned their first ACC victory with a 50-35 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

Watson’s six touchdown passes set a Clemson single game record for touchdown passes by a Clemson quarterback, and tied an overall ACC record of six touchdown passes in a game. Watson has thrown 10 touchdown passes this season, the most by a true freshman in a season, surpassing Willie Jordan with five in 1975. Watson also led Clemson with 28 rushing yards on 11 carries.

Sophomore Germone Hopper led Clemson receivers with a career- high 139 receiving yards and two touchdowns, with Mike Williams close behind with 122 yards on six receptions and two touchdowns.

The Clemson defense brought pressure early and often, including a safety courtesy of defensive end Shaq Lawson, while fellow defensive end Vic Beasley notched two sacks on the night, bringing his career total to 27, one short of Clemson’s all-time sack record of 28, set by Michael Dean Perry and Gaines Adams.

With the win, Clemson improves to 2-2 on the season and 1-1 in conference play. The Tigers return to Death Valley on Saturday, Oct. 4 to face NC State at 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.